Spring has sprung in the northern hemisphere and that layer of winter fat that your body built up to protect your delicate organs from the bitter cold of winter isn’t needed anymore.
Similar to how animals emerge from hibernation, we humans have a similar mechanism that’s driven by changes in nature.
You may not realize it yet, but the warmth of the external environment, as well as longer sunshiny days, are signaling to your body that it’s time to shed fat.
Wait! Did I say you were going to loose weight?
Well, maybe a little. But that’s not what this is about. Hang on. I want to make sure you understand this fat thing, cause it’s important (and it’s related to the health benefits of beets).
First things first. If you were like most people, you gorged a little on heavy, rich foods this winter. Things like soups, stews, pasta, baked lasagna, roasted everything, whole grains, bread, and butter. Am I right?
You craved rich foods because your body needed the warmth from these foods to keep you warm as winter set in.
Most people will gain a little weight in the winter, or maybe replace muscle weight with fat due to less physical activity.
But that’s all changing now.
Fall and early winter were seasons of building and conserving energy, but spring is characterized by releasing, flowing, and moving.
What Happens To Your Body In Spring?
You may notice that your energy starts flowing, creativity starts flowing, and mucus starts flowing (runny nose anyone?).
Well fat also starts flowing, and there are two issues to consider about flowing fat.
The first issue is related directly to the fat. As it flows from its winter home where it padded your skin into the blood, it causes the blood to become thick and sweet, which can clog up your circulation.
Reduced circulation is problem number one.
Now, for the second issue.
Unfortunately, along with the flowing fat comes flowing toxins. Why? Because fat is a natural storehouse for toxins, and toxins easily get trapped in fat.
So your body gets loaded with flowing fat AND flowing toxins, and neither are good for you.
The great news is that beets are the perfect ally to help you on both fronts.
Beets Stimulate Bile To Digest Excess Fat In Spring
Beets are a powerhouse for fat digestion.
This is due to beet’s powerful cholagogue effect that stimulates the gallbladder to release more bile into the blood.
Bile is key, because bile is what the body uses to break down and digest fat.
And you do want to encourage this.
If you don’t do something to assist in the elimination of excess spring fat, you will be more likely to experience colds, flus, and allergy symptoms.
One way to know if you have enough bile is by the color of your stool.
Cinnamon brown is normal, yellow or yellowy-brown can indicate excess bile, and cardboard light yellow can indicate insufficient bile, otherwise known as fatty stool.
While beets are a fantastic and potent bile stimulator, in general, bitter and sour tastes also stimulate bile.
Here is a list of bitter and sour foods to add to your spring diet.
Cholagogues that can help with fat digestion are:
- Cooked apples, such as applesauce
- Apple cider vinegar
- Balsamic vinegar
- Beet greens
- Mustard greens
- Lemons and limes
Beets Nourish And Protect The Liver
The second issue we highlighted earlier was the problem of toxins, and this is a different issue from fat digestion itself.
This brings us to the liver, since it is the major detox organ in the body, especially for the blood.
The liver is constantly filtering and cleaning your blood, but there is only so much it can handle. When it gets overloaded, that’s when other problems can arise.
I find it amazing how nature creates synergistic benefits in a single vegetable, because beets support detoxification while simultaneously strengthening and supporting the liver.
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU:
The Best Spring Detox Foods for Mind & Body —GET RECIPE
Too Much Of A Good Thing?
Another fascinating little point to know about beets is that they have a stimulating laxative effect.
This is a good thing for our purposes, but since beets promote detoxification, your experience in the toilet could even be … er … a little different from usual.
You could find that your stools are looser than normal, or there could even be a burning sensation on the way out.
Things could even be a little explosive from the stimulant action.
If any of this is the case, you should probably ease up on your consumption of beets for a few days, but there’s no need to worry about anything.
Especially, don’t worry if you notice red color in your stools. That’s natural dye from the beets and totally normal.
Ultimately, your body is going to be better off for having had the beet experience.
The Health Benefits Of Beets
Delicious, sweet, and wholly satisfying, remember that blood red beets nourish healthy blood, and healthy blood supports your liver.
When consumed raw, beets are heating and more potent, while cooked beets cleanse and cool down the blood.
In addition to their cleansing action, beets actually help to balance blood chemistry and increase red blood cells in your body.
According to Joyful Belly Ayurveda, beet are high in flavonoids, which are known as “nature’s biological response modifiers.”
Flavonoids are known to be anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and anti-cancer.
Are You Ready To Cook Some Beets?
Baby beets, along with their yummy greens, are especially plentiful in spring.
If the beets are baby their skins are thin, so if they are organic you can eat the whole thing.
Otherwise, use a carrot peeler to remove the skins, or cook the beets first and slip off the skins easily with your fingers after they cool.
The Buttered Veg blog has some flavorful beet side dish recipes that I think you’ll enjoy.
Savory Beetroot with ‘Nutty’ Ghee and Walnut Oil
Roasted Beets with Maple Butter
You can also see me on video cook up some veggie root burgers featuring beets right here. You can enjoy these as a burger, or as a vegetarian main course.
They look like beef burgers. Maybe you can fool someone?